At one time there was a plan for an "air line" directly from Chicago to NYC along pretty much as straight of a line as possible - this was to be an electric (yes, third rail) road. Very little was built outside of the Chesterton, Indiana area, from what I understand. The schematic route was what appears to be halfway between the 20th Century and Broadway routes (I think roughly along, what is it, I-80?).
I guess the OP is thinking of something like it....
Yup, the very same!
Well you may have a point there.....
they used to say "Mussolini made the trains run on-time"
Wasn't that, er, not quite true? (as an aside, when my father escaped from Eastern Europe during the early part of the war, yeah WWII, he was very impressed with Italian trains - "it was like stepping into the future, they were all electric")